Your primary roles as OE are to:

  • Assist the observing team to obtain science-quality data from the ATNF telescopes.
  • Understand the telescope safety and alarm systems in place and know how and when to escalate potential telescope safety issues to the callout person.

Before Observing (at least 1 month before for regular projects, before semester for NAPAs)

  • Establish who from the team will be observing 
  • Confirm that the observers have S&A Unix idents. 
  • Confirm that the observers are able to connect to the Parkes/Murriyang or ATCA PORTAL.
  • Confirm that the observers are able to connect to the ATCA & Parkes/Murriyang VNCs.
  • Establish the technical and scientific requirements of the observations
    • If you are not a named co-I on the project you may ask if the team are comfortable sharing some or all of their original proposal.
  • Establish whether the observers will need help in preparing schedule files/parsets. If yes:
    • Point them to the relevant User Guide pages for ATCA or Parkes/Murriyang
    • Schedule time to meet online to assist them if necessary
    • Check over schedules/parsets the team has created
  • Establish whether the observers require help on start-up? If yes:
    • Make arrangements to connect with them when their first observing block starts (and optionally on subsequent start-ups, depending on experience level).
  • Use the "Observing Expert" tab on the Parkes/Murriyang or ATCA PORTAL to register your contact details and sign up as OE for given observing blocks.

Level of Support Expected During Observing:

Upon commencement of a project block, the registered OE will auto-populate the "Observing Expert" field in the PORTAL and cisco call forwarding will be enabled to their preferred contact number.

OEs are expected to adhere to the following standards of support and availability during an observing run. (Note: Projects with their own internal support and training mechanisms may determine their own policy on OE obligations during an observing run, but they must inform ATNF at the beginning of the semester.)

  • Familiarise yourself with any technical issues currently affecting the telescope
    • Check PORTAL messages displayed at login
    • Check the mattermost System Update channels
  • Sign into the Parkes PORTAL or ATCA PORTAL as OE at the beginning of the session, and be logged in as much as practical throughout.
  • To the extent possible, be no more than ~60 minutes from an internet-enabled device from which you can connect to the telescope systems.
  • Be accessible by phone for the duration of your team’s observing block(s). 
  • Triage any perceived telescope faults that are beyond the observer's competencies:
    • Resolve the issue if possible.
    • Contact the relevant emergency on-call person if required.
    • If non-emergency, and non-resolvable:
      • Seek further assistance (if during working hours) from observatory staff via the PORTAL and/or Mattermost
      • Stow the telescope until appropriate assistance is available and submit a fault report to  atca.support@csiro.au or parkes.support@csiro.au 
      • Note that for ATCA, the on-call person may be contacted in a non-emergency if a CABB block needs manually rebooting.
  • Keep record of how much time you dedicated to your OE duties

After all observing for a project is complete

  • Complete the OE feedback form [COMING SOON]
  • Assist the team with downloading their data if required